Articles Posted in Drowsy Driving Truck Accidents

Determining what happened in the moments leading up to a fatal New Mexico truck accident is not always a simple task. While some truck accidents are straightforward, and the causes can readily be determined by local authorities, others require an in-depth investigation. An investigation into a fatal truck accident may require investigators to look into cell phone records, rest logs, and maintenance records.

Mountain HighwayBack in October of last year, a fatal bus accident that occurred on a California highway claimed 13 lives and injured several others. According to reports at the time, the bus was carrying upwards of 40 passengers when it rear-ended a semi-truck. At the time, it was clear from the wreckage that the bus was traveling much faster than the truck, but authorities were unsure what caused the accident.

According to a recent news report, the driver of the semi-truck that was rear-ended was arrested and charged with several counts of vehicular homicide and reckless driving. Apparently, the truck driver had stopped his truck on the highway in a traffic jam that was caused by road construction up ahead. However, while he was stopped, the truck driver fell asleep. When traffic resumed, the truck driver remained asleep until his truck was rear-ended by the bus moments later. The bus was traveling at 76 miles per hour at the time of the collision.

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One of the main causes of serious and fatal truck accidents is drowsy driving. Truck drivers are compensated by the mile, so the longer a driver can stay on the road per day, the more money he or she will make. However, these long hours on the road come at the obvious cost of a driver’s decreased ability to remain awake and fully aware of his surroundings.

JournalTo help combat the incentives for truck drivers to stay on the road as long as possible, federal government regulations require that truck drivers get a certain amount of rest per day and between long trips. To help enforce these regulations, truck drivers are required to keep logs of the hours they spend on the road as well as the time they spend resting.

Until recently, trucking companies had a choice to keep electronic logs or hand-written logs. However, the use of hand-written logs has long posed a problem because truck drivers can keep dishonest records or even change the records in the event an accident occurred. For example, if a truck driver is involved in an accident and knows that he has been on the road longer than he should be, that driver may be tempted to change the rest log so that when an investigation is conducted, his violation will not be discovered. This may no longer be possible.

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New Mexico is an expansive state that many truck drivers pass through when making cross-country trips. An unfortunate consequence of such frequent travel through the state is the increased risk and prevalence of accidents. There are several causes of trucking accidents in New Mexico, such as truck driver inexperience, mechanical flaws in the truck, and unfamiliarity with road conditions. Additionally, one very common cause of trucking accidents in New Mexico is truck driver fatigue and drowsiness. There are many reasons that truck drivers may be drowsy when they are driving and still continue on without stopping for appropriate rest.

Truck's GrillThe trucking and transportation industry is highly competitive, especially in this day and age when many customers order goods online and rely on timely shipments. Often, transportation and trucking companies will mandate that their employees complete shipments in a specific amount of time. Many times, trucking companies require that their drivers drive almost 70 hours in an eight-day time frame. This comports with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which allows truckers to drive up to 11 hours straight in one day. Unfortunately, these requirements lead to exceedingly fatigued drivers who are expected to make their trips profitable for their company. There is no way that drivers can drive this amount of time without experiencing fatigue.

Furthermore, many times, truck drivers use both legal and illicit stimulants to stay up in the hopes that accidents will be avoided. However, research suggests that the overuse of these stimulants can actually result in opposite effects. There is no substitute for actual rest and sleep. The drivers may believe that they are more alert than they actually are, and accidents are bound to occur.

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